2017 NFL Mock Draft 1.0

 

Browns

  1. THE PICK: Myles Garrett, DE Texas A&M – Too athletic and too much of a game-changer to pass on. Even if the Browns are desperate for a QB and love Trubisky, they probably realize he’ll be available at 12 or another quarterback would be just as good. However, no one is as good as Garrett in this draft at that position.

49ers

  1. THE PICK: Leonard Fournette, RB LSU — Maybe Carolnia’s pick here. They’d love to add the LSU lead back to their backfield. But if SF keeps the pick, Fournette might suit their needs just as well.

CHI Bears

  1. THE PICK: Marcus Lattimore, CB Ohio St. — The question will be “Is Jonathan Allen too good to pass on for a position of greater need?”.

Jags

  1. THE PICK: Jonathan Allen, DT Alabama — If Fournette is off the board, will the Jags turn to defense or do they have a second offensive option at 4? Christian McCaffrey, OJ Howard?

Titans

  1. THE PICK: Solomon Thomas, DE Stanford. — This is where things start to get tricky. The Titans clearly are in need of a top cornerback with Jason McCourty now gone from Tennessee. But can they pass up offensive studs like Howard or Mike Williams? Don’t forget — what ever position they pass on here can be satisfied at 18.

NYJ

  1. THE PICK: Jamal Adams, S LSU — Best player available would be a wise move for the Jets at 6. Probably going to be a safety or corner.

Chargers

  1. THE PICK: Malik Hooker, S Ohio St. — The feeling is that the Chargers need to tighten up that defense. Adding a guy who can partner with Joey Bosa on that side of the ball could give a major boost to LA’s defense.

Panthers

  1. THE PICK: Christian McCaffrey, RB Stanford — Few players in this year’s draft have been the recipients of such positive hype in the past few weeks than the Stanford running back. If Carolina stays put and doesn’t move up for Fournette, I think this will be the pick.

Bengals

  1. THE PICK: Reuben Foster, LB Alabama — Cincy has been vocal about wanting to add weapons for Andy Dalton. OJ Howard is the name to watch here — dual TE sets with Howard and Tyler Eifert seems pretty scary. But the Bengals might have too many pressing needs to take the ‘Bama tight end.

Buff

  1. THE PICK: OJ Howard, TE Alabama — The Bills have had an up close seat to witness the impact Rob Gronkowski has had on the league. If Howard comes anywhere close to Gronk, this is a pick well worth it.

Saints

  1. THE PICK: Marlon Humphrey, CB Alabama — I’d be surprised to see New Orleans go with something other than pass rusher and cornerback with their two first round selections. Just not totally sure the order. After the Malcolm Butler non-trade with the Patriots, the Saints would seem to covet a top CB if they feel one is there at 11.

Browns

  1. THE PICK: Mitchell Trubisky, QB North Carolina — If this really is  the QB whom the Browns want, they have to take him.

AZ

  1. THE PICK: Mike Williams, WR Clemson — Arizona may want to grab Larry Fitzgerald’s replacement here. They should have a nice choice between Williams, Corey Davis, and John Ross.

Eagles

  1. THE PICK: Corey Davis, WR Western Michigan — The Eagles could use a corner, but there may not be one there they feel good about at 14. But there will be a couple receivers that should help Carson Wentz.

Colts

  1. THE PICK: Taco Charlton, DE Michigan — Edge rusher is a position that you wouldn’t think the Colts could overdo. Whether it’s a DE or OLB, the Colts needs players who can attack attack attack.

Ravens

  1. THE PICK: Cam Robinson, OT Alabama — If any team recognizes the importance of a stalwart tackle on the offensive line, it’s the franchise that enjoyed Jonathan Ogden’s presence for over a decade. This pick could be a receiver, though. Joe Flacco needs speed and deep threats.

Skins

  1. THE PICK: Adoree Jackson, CB USC. — One could argue the Redskins need a CB more than anything else with this pick. But it will be tempting for Daniel Snyder if Dalvin Cook is sitting there when this picks rolls in

Titans

  1. THE PICK: John Ross, WR Washington — A corner and a playmaking WR are the two positions I think Tennessee would love to fill this round with their two selections.

Bucs

  1. THE PICK: Dalvin Cook, RB Florida St. — The Bucs would love a RB here. They may also choose to upgrade their pass rush.

Broncos

  1. THE PICK: Garrett Bolles, OT Utah — The holes on the O-line cannot be overlooked. There will be some good value on pass rushers at this stage, though.

Lions

  1. THE PICK: Derek Barnett, DE Tennessee — There’d be few “wrong” picks here for the Lions. A complimentary pass rusher opposite Ziggy Ansah would fill a need.

Fins

  1. THE PICK: Haason Reddick, LB Temple — The Dolphins have a need at guard. The decision will come down to who’s there as a pass rusher versus what type of guard they can grab in a later round.

NYG

  1. THE PICK: Ryan Ramczyk, OT Wisconsin — I’m a bit surprised Ramczyk is here at 23. But he’d be a steal for the G-Men.

Raiders

  1. THE PICK: TJ Watt, DE/OLB Wisconsin — Oakland could go hybrid pass rusher with Watt or more traditional linebacker with Jarrad Davis from Florida.

Texans

  1. THE PICK: Pat Mahomes, QB Texas Tech — I don’t have to agree with every pick. Mahomes scores out with a second round grade — meaning, as a QB, he will garner first round interest. Sorry, I just don’t see it.

Seahawks

  1. THE PICK: Obi Melifonwu, S/CB Connecticut — A big, tall defensive back screams Seattle. Lots of factors make this very sensible — Earl Thomas coming back from injury, Kam Chancellor impending free agency, and the Richard Sherman trade-talk.

KC

  1. THE PICK: Jarrad Davis, LB Florida — Smart player, smart pick. Helps this defense get even better.

Cowboys

  1. THE PICK: Charles Harris, OLB Missouri — A CB or pass rusher would certainly help the D in Big D.

Packers

  1. THE PICK: Fabian Moreau, CB UCLA — The Packers could go Forrest Lamp at guard, but they have a major need at CB. And they have a history of taking Bruins.

Steelers

  1. THE PICK: David Njoku, TE Miami — Big Ben has been reported to have expressed a desire for another tight end. You ask and you shall receive.

Falcons

  1. THE PICK: Forrest Lamp, G Western Kentucky — A glaring need for the defending NFC champs. A pass rushing compliment to Vic Beasley will also be considered here.

Saints

   32. THE PICK: Zach Cunningham, OLB Vanderbilt — I’d be surprised to see New Orleans go with something other than pass rusher and cornerback with their two first round selections.

 

Feedback is always welcome through the website in the comments box or on my Twitter feed, @brian22goodwin.

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2017 MLB Predictions

Sometimes it seems so easy to predict how major league baseball season will turn out. Twenty years ago, you pick the Yankees and you’re doing ok. Couldn’t take the Red Sox or Cubs, of course, but everyone already knew that. And as time has gone on, some things have changed, naturally — the Cubs and Red Sox are both quite obvious and popular picks in 2017 and the Yankees are a youthful sleeper at best.

But other things have stayed pretty consistent for the last few years — Clayton Kershaw as the NL’s top pitcher; the Nationals leading the NL East (and then bowing out, abruptly, from their opening playoff series); Mike Trout and Bryce Harper treating the league like their own personal sandlot; and the Orioles, Blue Jays, and Red Sox going down to the wire for the AL East crown.

This year, I predict, some of those pieces to MLB’s puzzle will stay intact; but some things will change. Let’s have a look at how I envision the 2017 season playing out, division by division and then the postseason plus awards.

 

AL East

Boston (95-67): The pitching is there, the lineup is there. There’s a nice blend of veteran     leadership mixed with youth. If they underachieve, we may truly understand how big a part of that franchise David Ortiz was.

Baltimore (89-73): Put me on the Manny Machado bandwagon. Heck, I’ll even drive. Good pitching, better bullpen, and, yes, Manny for MVP.

Toronto (86-76): All the pieces seemed in place the past few seasons. The Jays may have missed their chance.

New York (85-77): Very young club that should be fun to watch. But they’re a year away from being playoff-bound.

Tampa Bay (67-95): It won’t be pretty in Tampa this summer for Rays’ fans.

 

AL Central

Cleveland (90-72): I see this Cleveland team as being a bit fragile — the World Series hangover, the mileage on the starting rotation, and Michael Bradley does not seem like his shoulder wants to let him play any time soon. Still, 90 wins will put them in the postseason.

Detroit (85-77): Speaking of fragile. Is there any team in the league who’s season could swing in two more extreme directions? Stay healthy, play motivated for the late Mr. I, and have a stable bullpen and the Tigers could challenge the Indians. Or watch injuries mount on the veterans, listen to rumors fly about manager Brad Ausmus’s job and this could be a bottom 5 team in the AL.

Kansas City (81-81): It was just yesterday when the Royals were the class of the division and the league. Now, KC looks like just another team trying to make the postseason.

Minnesota (68-94): The Twins have young pieces, but they’re still a ways away from competing.

Chicago White Sox (66-96): Does anyone even know the White Sox exist?

 

AL West

Houston (89-73): The Astros have youth that is maturing quickly — MVP-caliber Jose Altuve, superstar in the making Carlos Correa, Alex Bregman, and Dallas Keuchel. Veteran additions like Carlos Beltran, Brian McCann, and Josh Reddick will put Houston in a great position to get to the World Series.

Texas (87-75): The Rangers have the starting pitching and power at the plate to win a lot of games. Can the bullpen close down tough, close games in September and October, though?

Seattle (80-82): For years now it seems like we’ve all been picking the M’s as the sleek, sexy pick to make the playoffs. I’m about ready to give up.

Los Angeles Angels (79-83): My argument for a few years has been — as futile as it may be — that if Mike Trout is as good as we all think, then why are the Angels not perennial playoff contenders or challenging for the pennant? I know he’s supremely talented, but you’ve got to make others around you better, don’t you?

Oakland (65-97): Billy Beane’s “moneyball” philosophy has the A’s is a bit of a rebuild.

 

NL East

New York Mets (88-74): Watch Noah Syndergaard this season. The young righty was forced into a leadership role on the staff with the plethora of injuries that impacted the 2016 rotation. He grew up and I look for him to position himself right at the top of the Cy Young race. I also like the combo of Yoenis Cespedes and Curtis Grandson to give the Mets lineup the punch it will need. I think Granderson is capable of providing the spark that Daniel Murphy provided the Mets in their World Series run in 2015.

Washington (85-77): One of these years I expect Washington will quiet the naysayers and will win the World Series. Players like Bryce Harper and Max Scherzer, who are perennially in the MVP and Cy Young conversations — respectively, should have rings. But I’m picking them to take a step back this season. Maybe it’s what they need before making a run in 2018?

Miami (78-84): It is impossible to predict how the Marlins will respond to the tragic loss of Jose Fernandez in their first full season without their ace. And that’s just one question that presents itself. Will Giancarlo Stanton return to MVP-form after an injury-shortened ’16? Is the pitching staff strong enough? After missing out on acquiring a relief pitcher in the offseason, can the bullpen hold things together? Too many questions for what, ultimately, is an average team.

Atlanta (77-85): The Braves have potential, which starts and ends with Freddie Freeman. If the Braves could get above .500, Freeman will garner a lot of MVP consideration — and well deserved. Bartolo Colon’s addition could add some excitement and leadership.

Philadelphia (69-93): The Phils remind me a little of the Yankees — both are young and have rebuilt their teams the smart, patient ways. That said, the playoffs are not anywhere in sight this year in Philly.

 

NL Central

Chicago Cubs (96-66): It sure smells like a repeat is in the works, but that’s no easy task. I wouldn’t worry about the regular season for the Cubbies. But can they continue to fend off opponents’ best shot every game?

St. Louis (84-78): You can never turn your back on the Cardinals. A healthy rotation will have the Cards in the hunt all year.

Milwaukee (79-83): This is a young Brewer team who should be fun to watch. The postseason isn’t realistic, but this club should entertain fans this season.

Pittsburgh (78-84): I’m sensing a bit of a drop off for Clint Hurdle’s club. The strange moves at last year’s trade deadline still make me shake my head.

Cincinnati (68-94): Like Milwaukee, the Reds are going through a major rebuild. Games won’t be won easily for this Reds team.

 

NL West

Los Angeles (94-68): Corey Seager will be in the running for the MVP all year. Add the fact that you have Clayton Kershaw taking the hill every fifth day and we’re talking about a team that has World Series written all over it.

San Francisco (92-70): The pitching cannot be overstated in San Fran. No team can definitively argue their starting five is better than what the Giants throw out there. If they can find consistent offense, San Francisco will be playing late into October.

Colorado (86-76): There may not be a better 2B, SS, and 3B trio in the National League. Look for Nolan Arenado to put himself in the MVP conversation. The pitching might be the downfall, but the Rockies have a lot to be hopeful about — in ’17 and beyond.

Arizona (81-81): The Diamondbacks have been under the radar due to the division they’re in. But this team might only be a year away from seriously threatening in the West.

San Diego (58-104): Then Padres are putting their faith in Will Myers and Jared Weaver. Beyond that, the Padres are steeped in uncertainty at nearly every position.

 

League Championships

AL: Boston over Houston

NL: Los Angeles over San Francisco

World Series

Boston over Los Angeles

MVP

AL: Manny Machado

NL: Corey Seager

Cy Young

AL: Chris Sale

NL: Noah Syndergaard

 

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